A part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, Wales is a beautiful country which is bordered by the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea on two out of three sides. When planning a trip to the UK, Wales often gets overlooked for more popular places such as London or Scotland. Don’t make that same mistake as Wales is filled with amazing things to see and do, and along with it, some amazing places to stay. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Twr y Felin Hotel
© Twr y Felin Hotel
The Twr y Felin Hotel is considered to be one of the best luxury hotels in Wales and has won several awards during its many years of operation. The marvelous hotel is ideal for a romantic vacation or a trip with friends and family. You can experience warm Welsh hospitality while enjoying boutique guest rooms, fine dining, and much more. There are 21 en-suite bedrooms and suites to choose from, each of which is unique and immaculately designed to make the most of the space available. While you’re there keep an eye out for the specially commissioned art pieces created specifically for the hotel; there are over a 100 scattered throughout the property.
Address: Ffordd Caerfai, St Davids, Haverfordwest SA62 6QT, UK, Phone: +44-14-37-72-55-55
© Chateau Rhianfa
Chateau Rhianfa offers a real life fairytale setting in which you can have a romantic holiday with your significant other. The award-winning hotel and event venue isn’t just your average country house hotel - located in the heart of North Wales, it is an incomparable unique and creative space. There are thirty beautifully designed rooms which enable you to bring your fairytale to life; choose to stay in one of the stylish bedrooms or one of their luxury self-catering cottages. Spend your time at the hotel exploring the dramatic landscapes which surround you, unwinding in their award-winning restaurant, or taking a day trip to the nearby hills of Snowdonia.
Address: Beaumaris Rd, Menai Bridge LL59 5NS, UK, Phone: +44-12-48-88-00-90
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3.St Brides Spa Hotel
© St Brides Spa Hotel
The St Brides Spa Hotel is a stylish and contemporary accommodation which can be found on a cliff top overlooking Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The calm and peaceful oasis is home to stylish rooms which are fitted with luxurious amenities to ensure your comfort, as well as an award-winning spa to rejuvenate both your body and your mind. Most of the rooms have a balcony with a lovely view of the sea; there are also six two-bedroom apartments which are perfect for when you’re traveling as a family and need a separate room for the kids.
Address: St Brides Hill, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire SA69 9NH, Phone: +44-18-34-81-23-04
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4.Bodysgallen Hall & Spa
© Bodysgallen Hall & Spa
Bodysgallen Hall & Spa is a beautiful hotel that is housed amidst 200 acres of lush, secluded parkland. You’ll be able to experience all of the best of country house hospitality while enjoying spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle. Unique features of Bodysgallen Hall & Spa include a walled rose garden and beautiful gardens which house a rare 17th century parterre of box hedges. There are 31 rooms and suites, fifteen of which are located in the main house and 16 individual cottages which are scattered across the grounds. The Hall Cottages are a popular choice and have a secluded garden, separate sitting room, Floris toiletries, and much more.
Address: The Royal Welsh Way, Bodysgallen Ln, Llandudno LL30 1RS, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-58-44-66
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© Llansantffraed Court
Llansantffraed Court is a beautiful and relaxing four-star country house hotel that sits amidst the stunning rural area of Monmouthshire, Wales. The hotel is renowned for its high-standard hospitality, incomparable amenities, and great food, which you can try at their in-house restaurant. Many of the original features of the historic building which the hotel is housed in have been wonderfully preserved. You can enjoy the serene atmosphere, relax in the 1-acre walled kitchen garden, or take a walk beside their lake and fountain. There are 21 gorgeous rooms to choose from, each of which offers stunning views of the grounds, lake, or the mountains from afar.
Address: Llansantffraed Court Llanvihangel Gobion, Abergavenny NP7 9BA, UK, Phone: +44-18-73-84-06-78
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6.Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa
© Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa is a romantic and relaxing hotel from which you can enjoy the crisp Welsh mountain air. You’ll be surrounded by panoramic views of the lake, the wooded hillsides, and an iconic fairytale tower. The 24,000 acres which surrounded the hotel and spa is a National Nature Reserve and is so unique and special that you’ll want to spend all your time taking walks and exploring the surroundings. The luxury hotel has three styles of rooms: Garden View Rooms, Lake View Rooms, and Premier Lake View Rooms, the latter of which is the largest and has a fantastic view of the iconic lake.
Address: Llanwddyn, Powys SY10 0LY, UK, Phone: +44-16-91-87-06-92
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© Llangoed Hall
Llangoed Hall is an amazing Wales hotel that is committed to exceeding guest expectations with a team of dedicated professionals and above-par hotel amenities. The elegant and historic country house hotel is situated in the heart of the Welsh countryside, in the beautiful Wye Valley. You’ll have the quintessential Edwardian country house experience in an accommodation that was once believed to have been the potential site of the first Welsh parliament. There are 23 charming bedrooms to choose from, each of which have been individually designed to truly bring out the character and charm in each space. Room features include comfortable beds, complimentary tea and coffee, and a selection of fresh fruit upon your arrival.
Address: Llyswen, Brecon LD3 0YP, UK, Phone: +44-18-74-75-45-25
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© Hotel Portmeirion
Hotel Portmeirion is a world of its own comprising award-winning restaurants, casual cafes, exotic gardens, sandy beaches, stylish shops, a spa, a number of historic cottages, and two hotels. You can choose to stay in one of the cottages or hotels depending on your preference and style. The Grade II Hotel Portmeirion is an early Victorian villa which was converted to a hotel in 1925. Though it has undergone many restorations and updates since then, the 14 beautifully designed rooms in the hotel all retain its original charm and offer great views of the surrounding.
Address: Minffordd, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, LL48 6ER, Phone: +44-17-66-77-00-00
9.The St. David's Hotel & Spa
© The St. David's Hotel & Spa
The St. David’s Hotel & Spa is a stunning hotel that makes a bold statement with floor-to-ceiling windows, glass-fronted facade, and private balconies facing Cardiff Bay’s waterfront. The rooms and suites are intimate, spacious, and may include generous lounge areas, private balconies, White Company toiletries, a selection of local treats, and fluffy bathrobes. Though you may find it difficult, venture out of your room to feast on eclectic foods in the hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar, The Admiral St David. Complete your trip with a rejuvenating massage, treatment, or therapy at the Marina Spa, which has been voted one of the best spas in the UK by Conde Nast Traveller.
Address: Havannah St, Cardiff CF10 5SD, UK, Phone: +44-29-20-45-40-45
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, Michigan beaches
10.The King Arthur Hotel
© The King Arthur Hotel
The King Arthur Hotel is a traditional hotel and country inn that exudes a magical and mysterious vibe. You’ll find the friendly and relaxing family-operated hotel nestled under Cefn Bryn, the highest point on Gower Peninsula. The hotel comprises 18 en-suite rooms, four self-catering cottages, a small barn conversion cottage, a restaurant, two bars, and a breathtaking wedding venue and banqueting hall. The spacious cottage apartments are located right next to the main hotel and is perfect for families, groups of friends, and those who are traveling with pets. While staying at the hotel you’ll be able to see award-winning beaches, and on a clear day, you’ll be able to see past the coastline and over the Bristol Channel all the way to Carmarthenshire.
Address: Higher Green, Reynoldston, Gower SA3 1AD, UK, Phone: +44-17-92-39-07-75
11.Joys of Life
Located within the famous Snowdonia National Park, staying at Joys of Life means that you’ll be surrounded by lush wooded areas and magnificent towering mountains. The country park offers accommodation within the main house as well as in the surrounding cottages. All of the rooms in the main house come with televisions, en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, and much more. The self-catering holiday cottages are a popular option with families and groups of friends who prefer staying together. They offer two cottages, one that can house up to four people, and the other that can house up to 14 people.
Address: Bangor LL57 4YW, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-48-60-21-22
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12.Glen-yr-Afon House Hotel
© Glen-yr-Afon House Hotel
Glen-Yr-Afon House is a four-star hotel that can be found beside the River Usk in the lovely countryside of Monmouthshire. The family-operated hotel prides themselves on offering all of their guests a personalized experience which enables them to have a relaxing holiday. From guest bedrooms and family rooms to the four-poster bridal suite, each of the accommodations available are full of charm and character. Some of the other amenities you may find in your room include a telephone, flat screen television, DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities, and breathtaking views of the hotel’s lovely garden.
Address: A472, Usk NP15 1SY, UK, Phone: +44-12-91-67-23-02
13.Parkway Hotel & Spa
© Parkway Hotel & Spa
The Parkway Hotel & Spa is a privately-owned, four-star, AA accredited luxury hotel that can be found on a lovely 7½ acre garden in Cwmbran. The hotel is fitted with 70 en-suite bedrooms, which includes executive rooms, executive suites, garden suites, and two penthouse suites. Other aspects of the hotel include a banquet hall, an exclusive private members leisure club & spa, and an in-house restaurant which is famed for its three-course carvery. You can spend your time relaxing in the patio garden, enjoying a glass of wine by the log fire, or rejuvenating your body and mind in the comfort of your hotel room or suite.
Address: Cwmbran Dr, Cwmbran NP44 3UW, UK, Phone: +44-16-33-87-11-99
14.Quay Hotel and Spa
© Quay Hotel and Spa
The Quay Hotel and Spa is a meticulously designed accommodation which you’ll find in Deganwy, North Wales. The four-star hotel will transport you to a world of luxury and comfort from the minute you step into their lobby. You’ll be able to take in magical views of Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, and the idyllic Conwy Estuary, all of which are within easy reach from the hotel. There are 74 rooms and suites to choose from, comprising classic rooms, superior rooms, executive rooms, suites, and penthouses. Each of them has been elegantly styled to enhance relaxation. Treat yourself to a full range of wonderful treatment at the hotel’s spa, which is considered to be one of the finest on the North Wales Coast.
Address: Deganwy Quay, Deganwy, Conwy LL31 9DJ, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-56-41-00
15.Park Plaza Cardiff
© Park Plaza Cardiff
Park Plaza Cardiff is a four-star hotel that can be found right in the heart of Cardiff’s city center, just a stone’s throw away from Cardiff Castle, Cardiff University, St David’s Shopping Centre, and the historic Arcades. The award-winning hotel is luxurious, elegant, and will offer the utmost comfort to guests who are there for business or pleasure. There are 129 guest rooms to choose from, and a superb range of facilities such as an award-winning restaurant and bar, luxury spa and fitness facilities, and much more. Other hotel services include 24-hour room service, express check-in and check-out, guest laundry service, and baggage storage among other things.
Address: Greyfriars Rd, Cardiff CF10 3AL, UK, Phone: +44-29-20-11-11-11
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16.Clayton Hotel Cardiff
© Clayton Hotel Cardiff
The Clayton Hotel Cardiff is one of the most centrally located hotels and you can find it right in the middle of Cardiff’s city center. It’s a great base for tourists and visitors who are planning on adventuring out into Cardiff’s most iconic sites, as most of them are just a short walk away. You’ll also be within walking distance to some of the city’s best shopping and business attractions as well as the central train and bus stations. There are six different styles of rooms and suites, including handicap accessible rooms for those who may need amenities such as power-assisted doors, lowered baths, spacious wet rooms, or 24-hour assistance.
Address: St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1GD, UK, Phone: +44-29-20-66-88-66
17.St. George's Hotel
© St. George's Hotel
St. George’s Hotel is a four-star accommodation that can be found in Llandudno, alongside the North Wales Coast. Often described as North Wales’ most historic sea front hotel, the space seamlessly blends modern comforts into the traditional Victorian elegance of the hotel. There are 81 elegantly decorated bedrooms to choose from, each of which are fitted with an LCD smart television, a work desk, individual temperature control, luxury toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, and much more. Hotel facilities include 24-hour room service, early check-in/ late check-out, free internet, and access to their terrace lounge. You can feast on their award-winning Welsh cuisine at the in-house Terrace Restaurant during your stay.
Address: St George's Pl, Llandudno LL30 2LG, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-87-75-44
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© Metropole Hotel
The Metropole Hotel opened its doors in 2004 and was quickly recognized as one of the most distinguished contemporary hotels in the area. The hotel has a modern, yet mysterious, atmosphere which reflects on the character and rich history of the area. There are four styles of rooms and suites, each of which have been meticulously put together to ensure guests receive the best amenities during their stay. The Signature Suites are located on the top floor of the hotel and comprise a separate living area, a terrace with private sun loungers, a walk-in wardrobe, and much more.
Address: 205 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 800-300-8528
© Castle Hotel
The Castle Hotel is an old coaching inn in Wales which offers four-star town house standards in all 29 of its bedrooms. The hotel stands on the site of Cistercian abbey and can be found within the UNESCO World Heritage walled town of Conwy. You’ll love the boutique style hotel that has a unique decor and style you won’t find anywhere else. Its most famed aspects are the personalized service that all guests receive as well as the fresh and delicious food. Start your day with a delicious breakfast served in their restaurant and end it with a glass of refreshing hand-pulled beer at the Castle Hotel.
Address: High Street, Conwy, North Wales, LL32 8DB, Phone: 0-14-92-58-28-00
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20.Black Boy Inn
© Black Boy Inn
The Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon has been welcoming visitors and travelers from all over the world since the 16th century. You’ll find yourself in the perfect base from which to explore your surroundings and the stunning region of Snowdonia. There are 39 comfortable guest rooms to choose from, each of which are individually styled and furnished to make the most of the space that surrounds them. The in-house restaurant, which is located on the ground floor and open to the public, is a wonderful place to meet locals and make new friends while feasting on dishes carefully concocted from local ingredients.
Address: Stryd Pedwar a Chwech, Caernarfon LL55 1RW, UK, Phone: +44-12-86-67-36-04
21.The Lake Country House & Spa
© The Lake Country House & Spa
The Lake Country House & Spa is a manor house hotel which sits on the banks of numerous lakes and the River Irfon. The luxurious accommodation offers a complete retreat, from which you’ll never want to leave. Relax in the beautifully appointed rooms, each of which are individual in style and decor, or indulge in a rejuvenating massage or treatment at the spa. Features other than the lakeside spa includes a fitness suite, swimming pool, and amenities for popular activities such as tennis, golf, and fishing. If you’re travelling with your fur family, you’ll be glad to know that their Junior Suites are pet friendly and open directly onto the grounds.
Address: Llangammarch Wells, Builth, Powys LD4 4BS, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-15-91-62-02-02
22.Lawton Court Hotel
© Lawton Court Hotel
Lawton Court Hotel is a four-star guest accommodation which has gained many recognitions over the years including ‘Value for Money’ in the Travellers Choice awards by TripAdvisor. The hotel is housed in a beautifully-restored Victorian town house that has a seafront location opposite the Llandudno Promenade. It is a family-operated hotel which has 35 modern rooms and suites, each of which is tastefully decorated and equipped with televisions and toiletries among other things. Some of the rooms allow for you to enjoy views of Llandudno Bay directly from your rooms. Other hotel features include 24-hour receptions, a licensed bar, and complimentary WiFi.
Address: 11-13, N Parade, Llandudno LL30 2LP, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-87-11-50
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23.Empire Hotel Llandudno
© Empire Hotel Llandudno
The Empire Hotel Llandudno is a wonderful hotel which consists of a main building with 54 rooms and a separate building next door with eight large rooms. You can choose to stay in a room or suite that suits your style; all of the rooms have amenities such as individual temperature control, a television, refrigerator, personal room safe, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary WiFi, and free car parking. Other aspects of the hotel which you’ll love making use of include indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, spa, gym, bar, and two in-house restaurants.
Address: 7 Church Walks, Llandudno LL30 2HE, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-86-05-55
24.Llandudno Bay Hotel
© Llandudno Bay Hotel
The Llandudno Bay Hotel is a part of the Whisper Hotels range and can be found on the famous promenade offering stunning panoramic views of the bay. The tastefully designed hotel seamlessly combines modern comforts with traditional Victorian elegance. There are 61 rooms and suites to choose from, each of which boasts beautiful views, en-suite baths, flat screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary WiFi, and much more. The hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the countless attractions and activities which are available there such as taking a tram ride through Great Orme Country Park or exploring the Great Orme copper mines.
Address: East Parade, The Promenade, Llandudno LL30 1BE, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-55-54-00
25.Wolfscastle Country Hotel and Restaurant
© Wolfscastle Country Hotel and Restaurant
The Wolfscastle Country Hotel and Restaurant is a gorgeous space which is reputed for its amazing service, marvelous rooms, and carefully concocted cuisine. The in-house Allt yr Afon restaurant has been awarded 2AA Rosettes for culinary excellence and an intimate Victorian style dining atmosphere. In addition to eating the delicious concoctions from the kitchen, you can also spend your time at the hotel relaxing in your room which is sure to be fitted with luxury amenities to ensure comfort. Their spa focuses on offering therapeutic and cosmetic services which are sure to rejuvenate you. Activities you can participate in in and around the hotel include fishing, cycling, kayaking, and much more.
Address: Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 5LZ, Phone: +44-14-37-74-12-25
25 Best Wales Hotels
- Twr y Felin Hotel, Photo: Twr y Felin Hotel
- Chateau Rhianfa, Photo: Chateau Rhianfa
- St Brides Spa Hotel, Photo: St Brides Spa Hotel
- Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, Photo: Bodysgallen Hall & Spa
- Llansantffraed Court, Photo: Llansantffraed Court
- Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa, Photo: Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa
- Llangoed Hall, Photo: Llangoed Hall
- Hotel Portmeirion, Photo: Hotel Portmeirion
- The St. David's Hotel & Spa, Photo: The St. David's Hotel & Spa
- The King Arthur Hotel, Photo: The King Arthur Hotel
- Joys of Life, Photo: Kenishirotie/stock.adobe.com
- Glen-yr-Afon House Hotel, Photo: Glen-yr-Afon House Hotel
- Parkway Hotel & Spa, Photo: Parkway Hotel & Spa
- Quay Hotel and Spa, Photo: Quay Hotel and Spa
- Park Plaza Cardiff, Photo: Park Plaza Cardiff
- Clayton Hotel Cardiff, Photo: Clayton Hotel Cardiff
- St. George's Hotel, Photo: St. George's Hotel
- Metropole Hotel, Photo: Metropole Hotel
- Castle Hotel, Photo: Castle Hotel
- Black Boy Inn, Photo: Black Boy Inn
- The Lake Country House & Spa, Photo: The Lake Country House & Spa
- Lawton Court Hotel, Photo: Lawton Court Hotel
- Empire Hotel Llandudno, Photo: Empire Hotel Llandudno
- Llandudno Bay Hotel, Photo: Llandudno Bay Hotel
- Wolfscastle Country Hotel and Restaurant, Photo: Wolfscastle Country Hotel and Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Martin Mullen/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Welsh Mountain Zoo
Located in Conwy County, Wales near the city of Colywn Bay, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is a 37-acre zoological park showcasing more than 100 different species of native and non-native animals. The Welsh Mountain Zoo was the vision of Wales wildlife enthusiast Robert Jackson, who wished to create a natural reserve to showcase the native wildlife of the United Kingdom among a collection of international species.
Jackson’s campaign to secure a site and funding for the project dated back to the late 1940s and manifested as a series of seasonal animal attractions throughout resort areas in the United Kingdom, including Eirias Park’s Aquarium and Children’s Zoo. Following that attraction’s development, urban leaders approached Jackson with the possibility of renovating Conwy County’s former Flagstaff Estate site into a zoological park. Construction on the zoo project began in November of 1962, and the completed park was opened to the public in May of 1963. After Jackson was killed in a fishing accident in 1969, his wife Margaret and the couple’s three sons took over operations of the zoo, expanding facilities and programming throughout the following decades to include a lion enclosure, penguin pool, and otter habitat, as well as a red squirrel breeding initiative. In 1983, the Zoological Society of Wales nonprofit charity was created to oversee management of the park, which allowed for further expansion of habitats and programming.
Permanent Exhibits and Animals
Today, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is managed and operated by the National Zoological Society of Wales nonprofit charity, which oversees all daily operations and programming initiatives. Though the zoo was declared the National Zoo of Wales in 2008, it retains its original name and is currently under the direction of Jackson’s son, Nick. More than 140,000 people visit the zoo annually, which showcases more than 600 animal residents representing more than 100 native and non-native species in habitats organized by species group and ecosystem area.
As a natural wildlife reserve, the zoo is home to a number of rare and endangered species from around the United Kingdom and throughout the world, including red pandas, chimpanzees, and leopards. A variety of animal habitats are showcased throughout the park, including a European Otter Enclosure, a Chimpanzee World and Chimp Encounter area, and a Condor Haven. Recently-added exhibits include Sea Lion Rock, which showcases the zoo’s population of Californian sea lions in a 300-square-meter pool and activity area complete with an underwater visitor viewing facility. A Lemur Walkthrough, added to the park in 2012, is the first of its type at any animal park in North Wales, allowing visitors to observe red-fronted and ring-tailed lemurs imported from the Edinburgh and Belfast Zoos from a walkthrough enclosure pathway or a number of viewing windows.
Habitats and exhibit areas for native species, including the Welsh mountain goat, are also showcased. Other mammals showcased throughout the park include the Bactrian camel, the Przewalski wild horse, the Lar gibbon, the Oriental small-clawed otter, and the African crested porcupine. An African Aviary exhibit features populations of pigeons, starlings, and village weavers, while other habitat areas showcase Andean condors, Chilean flamingos, and scarlet, green-winged, and blue-and-yellow macaws. Reptiles on display include the royal and Burmese pythons, the Mississippi alligator, and the red-eared terrapin, while amphibian displays showcase animals such as the African bullfrog. An invertebrate exhibit also showcases tarantulas and giant land snails, and a Children’s Farm area allows young visitors an opportunity for up-close experiences with chickens, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, and guinea pigs. Future park developments include a Wallaby Enclosure and a new house for subtropical reptile species. Other zoo amenities include a cafe, gift shop, Jungleland Adventure kids’ play area, and parent and baby room facilities.
Ongoing Programs and Education
In addition to field trip opportunities for primary and secondary school students, the Welsh Mountain Zoo, a variety of educational programs are offered for the North Wales community, including in-classroom outreach programming bringing zoo animals directly into the classroom for student meet-and-greet experiences. The zoo’s WILD Education Centre, redesigned in 2016, hosts educational workshops and public event programming and includes an interactive Media Centre available for use by up to 30 students at a time. An annual Young Zoologist Days summer program is offered, along with a work placement program for North Wales teenagers. Periodic public special events are also offered in conjunction with school, summer, and winter holidays. Visitors may book birthday party packages directly through the zoo’s offices, which offer catered meals from the zoo’s cafe for all party participants and a variety of add-on workshops, including animal encounter experiences and question-and-answer chats with zookeepers.
Conwy LL28 5UY, UK, Phone: +44-14-92-53-29-38
More Things to Do in Wales
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More Ideas: Snowdon Mountain Railway
Embarking from the town of Llanberis, Wales, the Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only narrow-gauge rack-and-pinion passenger railway in the United Kingdom, offering tourist excursions to Wales’ highest peak. The initial proposal for a passenger railway connecting the city of Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon Mountain was brought before Parliament in 1871, building off of earlier discussions of expanding service of the London and North Western Railway.
The proposal was stalled for two decades due to the objections of a local Snowdon landowner, who wished to leave the land which now comprises Snowdonia National Park untainted by industrial development, but in 1893, permission to go ahead with the project was granted. As the land necessary for the project was deeded directly from a private citizen to the London and North Western Railway company, further approval from Parliament was not required to proceed with the railway’s development. Construction of the railway was overseen by head engineers Douglas and Andrew Fox and completed between December of 1894 and February of 1896, at a final cost of £63,800 to the company. The line officially opened for passenger transit on Easter Day 1896, and though its operation was halted temporarily by an opening day derailment that resulted in one fatality, the line remained a popular passenger route through the early 1940s. Service was temporarily halted during World War II, with normal service reinstated in 1946 and continuing into the 21st century.
Routes and Tickets
Today, the Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only extant rack-and-pinion-style public railway in operation in the United Kingdom and has served the North Wales area for more than a century. The railway is currently owned by Heritage Great Britain, a major tourist attraction operator throughout the United Kingdom, and serves more than 130,000 passengers annually. As a major Welsh cultural landmark, the route has appeared in film and literature throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, most notably as the inspiration for the Culdee Fell Railway in Reverend W. Awdry’s Railway Series books.
The complete railway route stretches for approximately 4.7 miles, spanning from its origin point at Llanberis to its terminus at the summit of Snowdon Mountain within Snowdonia National Park. It is known for its consistent operation during some of the United Kingdom’s most harsh weather conditions, with an operating season spanning from mid-March through the end of October except for days when access to the summit is impossible due to weather. A single-track line pushes single-carriage trains to the summit of Snowdon at an average gradient of 12.7%, with steepest track points reaching a gradient of up to 18.2%. Passengers may board the train at its origin point at Llanberis Station, which offers two platforms, or at any of the five interim points at Waterfall Station, Hebron Station, Halfway Station, Rocky Valley Halt, or Clogwyn Station, which serves as the train’s terminus during the spring months. A sixth interim station, Waterfall Station, is permanently closed, but formerly offered scenic views of a nearby waterfall and river. The railway’s terminus is located at Summit Station, which reaches a height of 3,140 feet, only 68 feet shy of reaching the mountain’s pinnacle.
Tickets for excursions may be purchased directly at the station or in advance via phone or email, with passengers advised to arrive at least half an hour prior to departure time to receive reserved tickets. All tickets are non-refundable, so passengers are advised to check weather conditions before purchasing. Fare rates are offered for adult, child, and disabled passengers, with early bird rates available for advance booking. Special group rates are also available for groups of 25 or more by contacting the railway via phone or email at least several days in advance of desired excursion. All train carriages are fully handicap-accessible, though passengers with special mobility needs should contact the railway in advance of excursions to make custom accommodations.
A variety of visitor amenities are provided at Llanberis Station, including Victorian-style boutiques and shoppes and food and beverages at the Station Buffet and Platform Grill restaurants. A film theater also shows documentaries related to the history of the railway and the Snowdon summit natural area. Complete excursions last approximately two and a half hours, with a 30-minute stop at the summit allowed for exploration of the Snowdonia National Park area. The Snowdon terminus also offers the Hafod Eryri Visitor Center, which provides visitor amenities including restrooms and refreshments. Spring service to Clogwyn includes a half-hour stop for open mountainside views, though passenger amenities are not provided at the Clogwyn Station.
Llanberis, Caernarfon LL55 4TY, UK, Phone: +44-84-44-93-81-20
More Things to Do in Wales
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More Ideas: National Roman Legion Museum
The National Roman Legion is located in Caerleon, Newport, Wales. Visitors to the museum will be taken back in time to explore a far-off outpost of the Roman Empire. The National Roman Legion takes visitors back in time to the Roman Empire.
About National Roman Legion Museum
Wales was the outpost farthest from the Empire. The Romans built the outpost at Caerleon in AD 75 that guarded the region for more than two hundred years.
The museum contains exhibits for visitors to learn how the Romans became a daunting force and how life would be much different without them through exhibitions and artifacts.
The National Roman Legion also contains a Roman Garden and on weekends offers an interactive exhibit for kids allowing them to go back in time to a barrack room, try on Roman armor replicas and walk in the shoes of a Roman soldier.
Caerleon was one of the only permanent outposts in Roman Britain. The museum itself is located inside the outpost remains. The Ruins consists of an almost complete amphitheater and the only remains of Legionary barracks in Europe.
The National Roman Legion Museum’s goal is to research, preserve, and display the objects from the Roman outposts of Caerleon, Usk, and their surroundings. The objects total over half a million. The collection is internationally renowned, and offers signs of life in two important Roman military bases. It also provides evidence for the life of the civilians living in the settlements around the bases.
The National Roman Legion Museum offers exhibitions, the Roman Garden, and the Roman Ruins for visitors to learn about the Roman Empire.
The Exhibits- There are a wide variety of exhibits for visitors to explore that include the following:
· Earliest verified piece of writing in Wale
· Biggest gemstone collection in the Roman Empire discovered underneath the outpost bath remains. These gemstones were lost between AD 80 and AD 230
· Bathstone Coffin contents include the bones of a man from the 2nd to early 3rd century, ointment bottle, perfume bottle, and shale cup.
· Authentic pottery and other tools such as a frying pan made of iron from the Roman Empire
Roman Garden- Vegetables, fruits, and herbs were planted by the Romans for use as food and medicine and in religious ceremonies. Their garden designs followed them into AD 43, but the changing climate severely limited the plants that could grow in them. Visitors will explore the garden and learn how the Roman Gardens of Britain might have looked. The Roman Garden contains bay trees and vines that climb the triclinium (an alfresco dining spot), and box hedges. Several of the plants visitors will find were introduced by the Romans and are not native to Britain. Their gardens were for pleasure and leisure and were considered outside rooms as extensions to the house. The Roman Garden is maintained using techniques the Romans created two thousand years ago such as mixing compost, scattering seeds in the spring, and turning soil in fall.
Roman Ruins- The ruins of the Roman outpost are located a short walk from the museum. It covers fifty acres of land including the area where the museum was built. Britain’s complete amphitheater, the outposts baths, and the remains of the Legionary barracks are all part of the outpost. The excavations that have been done include a cold bath suite (frigidarium), and outdoor swimming pool (natation) that represent just part of the original construction.
The National Roman Legion Museum offers several educational opportunities for students and teachers.
Foundation Phase-Post 16 Education- The museum offers different programs for each age group. From coloring sheets and matching games for the children too young for school, to school field trips and interactive programs for older children, the museum has something to enhance learning for all students.
Welsh Baccalaureate- The museum offers programs and activities to support the Enterprise and Employability Challenge and the Global Citizenship portions for students pursuing a Welsh Baccalaureate.
The museum provides a variety of temporary exhibits and lectures.
For Better or Worse: Women at War- This exhibit features the opportunities and challenges women caught in war faced. It emphasizes the lives of women during the Roman age and World War I.
Super Saturdays- Visitors enjoy visiting the barrack room that has been reconstructed and the Capricorn Center. The Barrack Room talk teach visitors about the life of Roman soldiers. Visitors of all ages are allowed to try on replicas of Roman armor. The Capricorn Center is a part of the museum for families play games and dress-up.
National Roman Legion Museum, High St. Caerleon, Newport NP18 1AE, Phone:+44-0-30-01-11-23-33
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